Eleusine coracana (Korakcan) is an annual plant widely grown as a cereal in the arid areas of Africa and Asia. Earliest records of its cultivation in India show that it was cultivated in the Hallur region of Karnataka in the later Iron Age. It is commonly known as finger millet or Kurakkan.
In Sri Lanka, finger millet is called kurakkan කුරක්කන් and is made into kurakkan roti - an earthy brown thick roti with coconut and thallapa - a thick dough made of ragi by boiling it with water and some salt until like a dough ball. It is then eaten with a very spicy meat curry and is usually swallowed in small balls, rather than chewing. It is also eaten as a soup (kurrakan kenda) and as a sweet called 'Halape'.



Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

Seed (Dry weight)

370 Calories per 100g

Water : 0%

Protein: 7.6g; Fat: 1.5g; Carbohydrate: 88g; Fibre: 3g; Ash: 2.7g;

Minerals - Calcium: 410mg; Phosphorus: 290mg; Iron: 12.6mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg;

Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;

Vitamins - A: 0.48mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.33mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.11mg; Niacin: 1.2mg; B6: 0mg; C:


Seed - cooked. Used as a millet, the seed can be cooked whole or ground and used as a flour. It is used in cakes, puddings, porridge etc. The flour makes a very fair unleavened bread if it is first soaked overnight in water. It is often used in making fermented foods. Korakcan is the main food grain for many peoples, especially in dry areas of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The grain is higher in protein, fat and minerals than rice, corn, or sorghum.  When consumed as food it provides a sustaining diet, especially for people doing hard work . The grain may also be malted and a flour of the malted grain used as a nourishing food for infants and invalids. Korakcan is considered an especially wholesome food for diabetics. The seed is about 2mm in diameter . A nutritional analysis is available. Seed yield is about 5 Tonnes per hectare. Ragi grain possesses excellent storage properties and is said to improve in quality with storage. Seed can be stored without damage for as long as 50 years. They are highly valued as a reserve food in times of famine. Yield depends on variety and is directly related to duration, height and tillering capacity of type grown. Types with straight spikes give better yields than those with curved spikes.


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